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Saturday, 11 August 2012

Dubai aims to spend to cut its gas bill - The National

Dubai is hoping to buy overseas energy assets in an attempt to reduce its bill for importing gas.

The emirate relies heavily on imports to meet its energy needs and is paying a high price for liquefied natural gas (LNG) bought at fluctuating prices on the international markets.

"We are looking at how we can really secure the supply in the long run through different sources and options," said Nejib Zaafrani, the chief executive of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE).

Unusual deals make for strange times for markets - The National

Markets will be alert to some of the most unusual debt deals of the year during the next few days - made all the more peculiar because they fall during the final week of Ramadan.

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi surprised many market watchers on Monday with a US$750m (Dh2.7bn) bond sale in the middle of the Holy Month, typically a period when deals are postponed as bankers in the Middle East jet off on their holidays.

But if some local investors were absent, the Asians were not, taking up to a third of the offer, according to the banks involved in the bonds.

Rosy growth as sales soar during Holy Month and tourists flock in - The National

Growth in tourism to the UAE is driving increased retail sales during Ramadan, says Sana Toukan, the research manager for the Middle East at Euromonitor International.

Arab tourists have helped to boost sales during the Holy Month as unrest in parts of the region puts people off visiting destinations such as Egypt and Lebanon. Ms Toukan explains what this means for sales of clothes, jewellery and food.

Saudi shares rise to highest since late May on optimism |

Shares in Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s biggest stock market, climbed to their highest since late May on valuations and optimism in the US.
Etihad Etisalat Co., a Saudi Arabian telecommunications operator, had its biggest gain since April 1. Saudi British Bank reached its highest close in more than a month while Arab National Bank jumped the most in a week.
The Tadawul All Share Index gained 0.5 percent to 6,987.06, the highest since May 29, at the close in Riyadh. The measure has risen 8.9 percent this year. US stocks rose for the fifth week, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index the longest rally since March, amid better-than-expected earnings and optimism that global central banks will take actions to stimulate growth.

INSIGHT-How StanChart's Iranian Gazelle was snared by Lawsky - Yahoo! News Maktoob

It was in October 2006 that a senior executive at Standard Chartered in New York pressed the alarm bell over the bank's dealings with Iranian customers.
Realizing the bank was being too slow to react to regulators' concerns that the transactions might break U.S. sanctions against Iran, Ray Ferguson, then head of Standard Chartered Americas, fired off an email warning of potentially "catastrophic reputational damage".
While regulators have revealed some details of what led to Ferguson's email and the shockwaves it caused, Reuters has now identified executives central to the affair, how they responded, and established that between 50 and 100 people at the bank have been questioned in internal probes of the alleged transgressions.

Qatar deposits $2 billion to support Egyptian economy - Cairo | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters

Qatar said on Saturday it would deposit $2 billion at the Egyptian Central Bank in an effort to help support an economy battered by a year and a half of political turmoil, an Egyptian presidency statement said.

The oil-rich Gulf state's Emir, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, visited Cairo and held talks with newly elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

"The state of Qatar has decided to deposit $2 billion at the Egyptian Central Bank," said the presidency statement.

EXCLUSIVE-UPDATE 2-StanChart, regulators in settlement talks - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Standard Chartered is in talks with multiple law-enforcement officials, including New York's banking regulator, to resolve a probe into improper Iranian money transactions by the British bank, according to people familiar
with the situation.
The settlement negotiations are expected to last through the weekend and could result in a resolution by next week, these people said. The negotiations are at a delicate stage and could collapse, they added.
One set of talks is with federal officials while a separate negotiation is taking place with the New York bank regulator, underscoring a divide that exists between New York officials and other regulators, the sources said.

STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi stocks close 0.5 pct higher - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Saudi shares close higher on Saturday, led by gains in the banking and hospitality sectors.
The all-share adds 0.5 percent to 6,987 points and the banking sector adds 0.4 percent to 15,912 points.
The hospitality sector gains 5 percent to 7,809.8 points, lifted by gains in Saudi Hotels which closes 6 percent higher.

Oman’s economy on the right track |

Proof that Omani economy is doing well nowadays entails registering budgetary surplus, sizable economic growth rate and solid credit rating.
In details, officials prepared the budget for fiscal year 2012 with a shortage of $3.1 billion (Dh11.4 billion) on the back of expenditures and revenues of $26 billion and $22.9 billion, respectively. However, judged by performance of the first half, most likely the fiscal year would end with a resounding surplus.
Official data put revenues for the half of 2012 at $19.1 billion up from $14.1 billion for the corresponding period in 2011. Concurrently, total expenditures stood at nearly $20 billion almost double the amount for the first six months of 2011.

The Times of Oman: Iran needs oil at $127 to balance budget, more than Saudi Arabia

Iran needs oil to average $127 a barrel this year for its fiscal budget to break even, more than what Saudi Arabia needs to balance its spending plan, according to an inter-governmental Arab energy lender.

Oil prices must average $99 a barrel this year for the 12 members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to be able to balance their national budgets, the Arab Petroleum Investments Corp., known as Apicorp, said in an e-mailed report.

Saudi Arabia, Opec's largest producer, will need an average price of $94 a barrel to balance its budget, the Khobar, Saudi Arabia-based bank said. Qatar will need $52 a barrel, the lowest price among Opec countries, Apicorp said yesterday.

Saudi Stock Market close - August 11, 2012

General Index
Intraday  3 month  
 Daily Statistics
 General Index6987.06
 Change (%)0.48%
 T. Volume192974590
 T. Companies 158